My wife and I decided that it was time to visit the Keys. Although we wanted to visit Key West, we were not so sure that we would want to spend all of our time there. The more I read about the Big Pine Key area the more I realized that it would probably be the high point of our trip. The more I read about the Barnacle the more I felt that it could be the kind of place that we would like. I read the recent bad reviews from the folks from Kentucky but decided to give it a chance anyway. We were sure glad we did. We did not reserve a room ahead of time. We took a chance that one would be available. The cottage was priced a little too high for us so we had our choice of the two atrium rooms. I chose the Dolphin as it has a window which looks out onto the ocean. It had a flat screen tv and there was plenty of room. The two stained glass windows in our unit were awesome. We did not need to use the AC. The ceiling fan worked out just fine for us. We had a room to hang up our clothes in which also contained a small fridge. The shower is probably due for an update though. The controls are not only unique, but hard to use. I believe that the shower in the tarpon room is updated and more conventional. Eric's breakfasts were both pleasing to the eye as well as the palate. We were there for three nights so we got three different breakfasts. We had waffles with fresh fruit, orange juice, and coffee on the first morning. One day two we had eggs benedict. On the final morning we had pancakes dusted with sugar and syrup. No frozen waffles or pancakes here. . My wife and I both enjoy biking and kayaking which is one reason we felt that this would be the place for us. There were four cruiser style bikes available for use. Good helmets were there for anybody to use as well. We rode the bikes all along the street that the Inn is located on. We also found a trail closer to Route l located on a bend. We rode the bikes back there as far as we could go. We did not venture out onto the highway. The bikes were in good condition and none of the tires needed air. There are several kayaks to choose from. They are kept on a rack. They are of the sit on top variety. Think Malibu two. There are seat backs to use if you desire them.. I myself prefer them. Launching the kayak can be a bit of an adventure. Some may be put off by the fact that you must step through a lot of built up sea grass to reach the water. You will sink down a bit into it. This did not bother us however. Once you get to the water you can step in and begin to paddle. That is unless the tide is out. If it is you are going to have to walk the kayak out further before getting in. So water shoes are a must here to protect your feet from any coral that you may encounter. I spoke to Eric about installing a roll up combo wood rope walkway. You could then get over the soft grass area without sinking into it. Just roll it back up when not in use. I hope he takes my advice. Every morning the key deer would show up to get a drink out of the fountain in the back. They would come right up to you looking for treats. When driving at night on Big Pine Key out on the highway be aware that the speed limit drops to 35 miles per hour to help protect the deer. It is strictly enforced. You must visit Bahia Honda state park when you are there. The beach is beautiful. I did some snorkeling while there. Our room had its own cooler and we got some ice out of the ice machine. Our room also had beach towels for our use. We took along a couple of beach chairs. There was snorkeling gear for your use. I brought along my own mask and snorkel, but I did make use of the fins that the Barnacle provided. I really was looking forward to observe the night sky from the roof of the Barnacle, but unfortunately the moon was a little to bright. We did not use the little spa that was located right outside our room. To sum it up, if you are active people who enjoy nature and all it has to offer, the Barnacle could be just the ticket for you. If you are used to plush B&Bs with afternoon tea then you might want to keep on driving. That way you will not be disappointed and I and those like me will be assured of getting a room at the Barnacle. Thanks for a good time Eric.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.